Send to

Choose Destination
J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2007 Mar;13(2):267-76.

Testing neuropsychological hypotheses for cognitive deficits in psychopathic criminals: a study of global-local processing.

Author information

Department of Psychology, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, Illinois 60064, USA.


Competing hypotheses about neuropsychological mechanisms underlying psychopathy are seldom examined in the same study. We tested the left hemisphere activation hypothesis and the response modulation hypothesis of psychopathy in 172 inmates completing a global-local processing task under local bias, global bias, and neutral conditions. Consistent with the left hemisphere activation hypothesis, planned comparisons showed that psychopathic inmates classified local targets more slowly than nonpsychopathic inmates in a local bias condition and exhibited a trend toward similar deficits for global targets in this condition. However, contrary to the response modulation hypothesis, psychopaths were no slower to respond to local targets in a global bias condition. Because psychopathic inmates were not generally slower to respond to local targets, results are also not consistent with a general left hemisphere dysfunction account. Correlational analyses also indicated deficits specific to conditions presenting most targets at the local level initially. Implications for neuropsychological conceptualizations of psychopathy are considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Cambridge University Press
Loading ...
Support Center